The cynic rails at life
Life laughs and jeers at us, says the cynic. Life is a huge hoax, a joke, a mockery, a gamble, an illusion, a blank despair. It is a lottery, he avers, where a hundred thousand draw blanks when one draws a prize. Life is shadowy and ephemeral, a dream overtaken by death on the very heels of its birth. It has neither meaning nor purpose and yet man has to wade his weary way through this miserable world.
Nature makes so many mistakes. She gives us without the least discrimination strong or weak, healthy or diseased bodies, bright or dull minds, and virtuous or vicious souls. God has some grudge against man or else he would not throw him at birth into the whirlpool of life to swim or sink. Men and women are the puppets driven hither and thither by him as his playthings. He stamps vice and sin upon human souls at birth and then punishes them.
The icy wind of death drives before it men and women and children into nothingness like the autumn wind blowing leaves that were green but yesterday and have dried and dropped today. Death turns man into a clod to be trodden by wayfarers. His dust does not rest at one place for the wind blows it all around. Man lauds the worth of his hero to the skies, but the hand of time passes the duster on his writings and they vanish. Time obliterates the memorials that man raises to human vanity.
The cynic sees only the dark side of life, I avow, Ahura Mazda, and gives a merciless expression to it. He vents the bitterness of his morbid mind upon life. His is the melancholy view of life and he preaches its dark despair. Good and great men die not even upon earth. They live in the grateful memory of posterity. The sun sets, it is true, but it rises again. Man dies but in body but lives for ever in spirit. Life is dust in body, but a matchless jewel in spirit. Let not man wail and moan on the miseries of his own creation when life is so full of joy and hope.
It is a boon to live, says Zarathushtra. My prophet teaches me to enliven my mind with sunny cheerfulness, to be gay of heart and buoyant of spirit. Help me, Ahura Mazda, to say Yea to life with overflowing cheerfulness and overplus joy.
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.